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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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Russia 41, Crimea 17, Madam 5, Eastern Ukraine 5, Osce 5, United Nations 4, Us 4, Helsinki 3, United States 3, Mr. Yanukovych 2, Un 2, France 2, Geneva 2, Moscow 2, United States Calls Upon Russia 1, Europe 1, United Kingdom 1, Yanukovych 1, Dustin 1, Lavrov 1,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Speeches from policy makers and  
   coverage from around the country.  

    March 4, 2014
    3:00 - 5:01am EST  

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minority languages. bear in mind -- >> minority languages, not minorities, but minority languages. language.nority the former governments redid the charter. it's redoing it and they're that it should apply not that guages like crimean need to be protected by should pply to all languages of national minorities that are protected by law. now getting rid of that ball, the government said that the parliaments will look once again of the charter which we undertook to ratify. we signed and ratified. and the russian federation, by not ratify -- did
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not ratify the charter up to now. for e ratifying it languages that i don't have a i have no official definition, will defend those languages that would disappear not many speakers of them. regions.y of unfortunately, an untruth was set. the party of regions, the former a large government was caucus of the current parliament. of over, one of the leaders this caucus said he would run for president. nobody -- the official parody called mr. yanukovych what a traitor. not said about the parliament.
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the parliaments legally and for in ag time elected and not revolutionary way. it has all of the power it needs to appoint the government. has full range of powers to conduct elections. today it was said that on the 25th of may, there will be elections.l opportunity the for that to work for us, to learn how to live together, how that we -- i agree need assistance -- assistance so we can get past the crisis help the or year, country build a future in a way that people will not be ashamed to live there. assistance. that's to form a civil society. invite all to, we and help and look how we're bother us t not to
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when we don't ask for it. thank you. >> i thank the representative of ukraine for his statement. are no further speakers inscribed. the security council has --
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youica and israel needs more today than ever before. >> the united nations security council met monday afternoon to discuss the situation in ukraine. this is two hours.
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this meeting of the security council is called to order. for this meeting is a letter dated the 28th of february from the permanent representative of ukraine to the united nations addressed to the security council. it is adopted. in accordance with number 37 of the council's rules, i invite the representative of ukraine to participate in this meeting. it is so decided. in accordance with rule 2039 of the provisional rules of
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procedures, i invite the assistant secretary general for political affairs to participate in this meeting. it is so decided. the security council will now begin its consideration of item 2 of the agenda. i now give the floor. >> thank you, madam president. madam president, members of the security council, since the briefing by the deputy secretary general on 1 march, the situation has evolved rapidly. we understand there is a continuing buildup of russian troops in crimea and that a number of ukrainian military bases have been surrounded by russian troops. in addition, the situation in eastern ukraine remains fluid with reports of demonstrations in certain cities as well as attempts by local groups to seize control of some official buildings.
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on sunday, the parliament urged russia to fulfill immediately the agreement of the black sea fleet on ukraine territory and called for the fast withdrawal of russian troops to their bases. the russian position on event was articulated by the foreign minister in remarks made at today's human rights council. he stated that russia's actions were a question of defending our citizens and compatriots and assuring human rights. the secretary-general has remained closely engaged on the situation in ukraine.
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in the latest phone call conversation with president putin over the weekend, the secretary-general told him that he was closely following the serious and rapidly unfolding developments in ukraine. the secretary-general expressed concern about the situation that would compromise the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country. he reiterated it was critical to restore calm and proceed to a de-escalation and asked for cool heads reveal. since secretary-general appealed to president putin to urgently engage in direct dialogue with the authorities, he has repeatedly said that it is critical to exercise respect for ukraine's independence, unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. he has underscored the utmost importance of restoring calm to de-escalate tensions through dialogue.
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he stressed in the spirit of the u.n. charter, we owe it here to peaceful resolutions of disputes. following the council's consultation on saturday, and given development on the ground in ukraine, the secretary-general asked that the deputy secretary-general travel to ukraine on sunday. while there, the deputy secretary-general was personally appraised of the facts on the ground and will brief the secretary-general on the next steps the united nations could take to support a de-escalation of the situation. the deputy secretary-general arrived in kiev today and has already begun his meetings. a person who briefed the secretary-general yesterday on his mission joined the other in kiev today. in the last 48 hours, the secretary-general has spoken to a number of key people, including the prime minister of ukraine, the president putin,
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the e.u. high representative, as well as the osce's secretary-general. he met with secretary lavrov today in geneva. the secretary reiterated the need for coordination in support of a stable and united ukraine. in conclusion, i wish to reiterate the secretary-general's call for dialogue to de-escalate tensions. as he has underscored in his calls for leaders, he urges us to find a peaceful resolution and the collaborative effort.
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thank you, madam president. >> [indiscernible] i now give the floor to the members of the security council. i give the floor to the representative of the russian federation. >> thank you, madam president. the russian federation was the initiator of the holding of today's meeting of the security council. since what is happening with our neighbors and ukraine, folks are very deeply concerned. the crisis provoked by the state in kiev as a result of the takeover of extremists is continuing to get worse and is creating risks for the country. today in geneva our minister of foreign affairs spoke in detail about the situation in ukraine. we are convinced any internal crises must be overcome by a dialogue of forces in a
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constitutional way and with respect to international obligations and obligations on international humanitarian law, defending human rights and national minorities. it is important to avoid extremists who are trying to take the situation under their control who are using violence and open terror. it is well known who created the crisis in ukraine. disputing the legitimate actions of the legitimate authorities, some of our partners have taken a course to support antigovernment statements. they have encouraged their participants who have moved to aggressive actions of force in
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attacking the police, stealing from warehouses, and mocking officials in the region, and crude interventions. many towns in western ukraine have been taken over by armed national radicals under extremist anti-russian and other slogans being used. on the 21st of february, almost three months after the unrest and the excesses, there was an agreement between the president of ukraine and the opposition whereby they signed by the ministers of foreign affairs of germany, poland, and other countries where they refused to bring in an emergency situation. they took to the streets. the opposition did not do anything. the use of legitimate weapons was not surrendered. civic buildings were not freed. radicals are continuing -- instead of a promise of the
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national unity government based in the formation of the -- the parliament of ukraine made a decision limiting the rights of minorities, sent away the judges of the constitutional court, and insists on pursuing them criminally. their arguments to limit or make it punishable to ban political parties that do not suit them and to use them as examples, so the victors want to use assurances of their victory to trample the rights and basic freedoms of people. all of this has bothered eastern and southern authorities of ukraine where millions of russians live. they do not want a repetition of this type of thing in this area. this situation of ongoing threats by the ultranationalists, who are jeopardizing the rights of russian-speaking people. we already have had to curb attempts of a forcible takeover in crimea and bringing weapons.
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we got information of provocative acts through the russian black sea fleet in ukraine. the legitimately elected authorities of the republic have asked the president of russia to provide assistance to restore calm in crimea. it is legitimate in russian law that the threats to our compatriots, citizens, and the black sea fleet and the russian federation in ukraine, the president of russia went to the council of the confederation asking for the use of forces until there is a normalization of the situation. on the 1st of march, the federation supported this appeal which we hope will cut off the radicals. i repeat, we are talking about defending our citizens on
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defending the most important human rights, the right to life. madam president, today i am also authorizing the following -- the president has received the following from the president of ukraine. the statements of the president of ukraine as a legitimately elected representative says the events in my place and the events in kiev have resulted in the fact that ukraine is on the brink of a civil war. in the country there is chaos and anarchy. the rights of people in the southeast part of crimea are being threatened. under the influence of western
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countries, there is terror and violence. this is why i would call on mr. putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the russian federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law, order, stability, and defend the people of ukraine. 3 march, 2014. i have an opportunity to show all of you a photocopy of the original of this statement of the president of ukraine. i show it to the president of russia. there it is. madam president, those who are trying to interpret this situation as aggression are threatening all with all kinds of sanctions and boycotts. these are indeed our partners who consistently have encouraged forces close to them to engage in alternatives and refrain from dialogue, to polarize ukrainian society. we call on them to show
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responsible approaches to set aside geopolitical calculations and to put above all the interests of ukrainian people. it is necessary to fulfill obligations in the agreements dated february 21. the full consideration of ukrainian federation for subsequent approval in a national referendum, and the establishment of the legitimate governments of national unity, considering the regions of the country. the russian position was and remains consistent and open. while for some western politicians ukraine is only a geopolitical playground, for us it is a fraternal country and we are bounded by many centuries of common history. russia is interested in a strong
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ukraine. we see the legitimate rights of ukraine, our compatriots, and of all citizens. in this extraordinary situation, not of our making, when the security of the residents of crimea and southeast region are subjected to a threat due to the provocative actions of gangs and other ultranationalist elements, we would like to emphasize that the actions of russia are fully appropriate and legitimate. thank you, madam president. >> i thank the representative of the russian federation for his statement. i will give the floor to the representative to the united states of america. >> thank you, madam president. listening to the representative of russia, one might think that moscow had just become the rapid response arm of the office of
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the high commissioner for human rights. so many of the assertions made this afternoon by the russian federation are without basis in reality. let's begin with a clear and candid assessment of the facts. it is a fact that russian military forces have taken over ukrainian border posts. it is a fact that russia has taken over the ferry terminal in kerch. it is a fact that russian ships are moving in and around sevastapol. it is a fact that russian forces are blocking mobile telephone services in some areas. it is a fact that russia has surrounded or taken over practically all ukrainian military facilities in crimea. it is a fact that today russian jets entered ukrainian airspace. it is also a fact that independent journalists continue to report that there is no evidence of violence against
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russian or pro-russian communities. russian military action is not a human rights protection mission. it is a violation of international law and a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the independent nation of ukraine, and a breach of russia's helsinki commitments and its un obligations. the central issue is whether the recent change of government in ukraine constitutes a danger to russia's legitimate interests of such a nature and extent that russia is justified in intervening militarily in ukraine, seizing control of public facilities, and issuing military ultimatums to elements of the ukrainian military. the answer, of course, is no. russian military bases in ukraine are secure. the new government in kiev has pledged to honor all of its existing international agreements, including those covering russian bases. russian mobilization is a response to an imaginary threat. a second issue is whether the population of the crimea or other parts of eastern ukraine, are at risk because of the new government. there is no evidence of this. military action cannot be justified on the basis of threats that haven't been made and aren't being carried out. there is no evidence, for example, that churches in
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eastern ukraine are being or will be attacked. the allegation is without basis. there is no evidence that ethnic russians are in danger. on the contrary, the new ukrainian government has placed a priority on internal reconciliation and political inclusivity. president turchinov - the acting president - has made clear his opposition to any restriction on the use of the russian tongue. no one has to explain to ukraine's new government the need to have open communications, not only with leaders of the country's russian ethnic minority in the crimea and elsewhere, but also with its neighbors. that is why, when the current
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crisis began, the government sent its former chief of defense to the region to try to defuse the situation. a second emissary was prevented from entering the crimean rada to engage in discussions. and it is why ukrainian authorities have repeatedly reached out to russia. russia needs to reciprocate and begin to engage directly with the government of ukraine. i note that russia has implied a right to take military action in the crimea if invited to do so by the prime minister of crimea. as the government of russia well knows, this has no legal basis. the prohibition on the use of force would be rendered moot were sub-national authorities able to unilaterally invite military intervention by a neighboring state. under the ukrainian constitution, only the ukrainian rada can approve the presence of foreign troops. if we are concerned about the rights of russian-speaking minorities, the united states is prepared to work with russia and this council to protect them. we have proposed and wholeheartedly support the immediate deployment of international observers and monitors from the un or osce to ensure that the people about whom russia expresses such concern are protected from abuse and to elucidate for the world the facts on the ground. the solution to this crisis is
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not difficult to envision. there is a way out. and that is through direct and immediate dialogue by russia with the government of ukraine, the immediate pull-back of russia's military forces, the restoration of ukraine's territorial integrity, and the urgent deployment of observers and human rights monitors, not through more threats and more distortions. tonight the osce will begin deploying monitors to ukraine. these monitors can provide neutral and needed assessments of the situation on the ground. their presence is urgently necessary in crimea and in key cities in eastern ukraine. the united states calls upon russia to ensure that their access is not impeded. the leadership in moscow may well be unhappy about former president yanukovych's decision to flee ukraine and move in with them.
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russia may be displeased with the new government, which was approved by ukraine's parliament by an overwhelming majority, including members of yanukovych's own party. russia has every right to wish that events in ukraine had turned out differently, but it does not have the right to express that unhappiness by using military force or by trying to convince the world community that up is down and black is white. russia's calls to turn back time to implement the february 21 agreement ring hollow. it was yanukovych who failed to abide by the terms of that agreement, fleeing kiev, and ultimately ukraine. the united states categorically rejects the notion that the new government of ukraine is a "government of victors." it is a government of the people and it is one that intends to shepherd the country toward democratic elections on may 25th - elections that would allow ukrainians who would prefer different leadership to have their views heard. and the united states will stand strongly and proudly with the people of ukraine as they chart out their own destiny, their own
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government, their own future. the bottom line is that, for all of the self-serving rhetoric we have heard from russian officials in recent days, there is nothing that justifies russian conduct. as i said in our last session, russia's actions speak much louder than its words. what is happening today is not a human rights protection mission and it is not a consensual intervention. what is happening today is a dangerous military intervention in ukraine. it is an act of aggression. it must stop. this is a choice for russia. diplomacy can serve russia's interests. the world is speaking out against the use of military threats and the use of force. ukrainians must be allowed to determine their own destiny. thank you, madam president. >> thanks for the statement.
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>> i said it is a feeling of consternation we see what is happening in ukraine and when we hear with our russian colleague we hear the voice of the past when forces entered czechoslovakia. it was the same justification, the same allegations. we expected with the construction of europe to awaken from this nightmare. we hope the balance of power .ould be substituted where the again where overcomes the law,
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every crisis must see the victor and the vanquished, where propaganda denies reality. no nation canect deny. these are simple facts. the russian army is occupying against the government and in violation of international law. no, these are killings. these are only excuses which they cannot even believe, they are so crude. by occupying crimea, russia has authoritiesring the ,o heal, to make them comply
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requiring their sovereignty is limited. in a word, this is simply brutality and propaganda. madam president, france does not want to play this ridiculous game, which is not good for anyone, especially the ukrainian russian people. at the beginning of the crisis the minister of foreign affairs with his german and polish colleagues moved to negotiate an , which russia refused to endorse until now. in the event the about-face of parliament made it possible for this to be applied. france continues to defend its spirit by creating a government holdingnal unity and elections under international
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supervision. this is what the prime minister is supposing today. everyday he is faced by the rejection of the region. wanted tom president reduce the role of russian wedding which. in the framework of independence and territorial integrity of ukraine, there are six points emerging from this crisis. six simple points that should be accepted by both rt's with respect to international law. first of all the return of russian forces to their bases. secondly, the immediate disarmament of our military elements and other groups holding illegal weapons. parliamentrainian
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established to restore the law and regional languages for the theection of minorities by limitation of constitutional reforms and the organization of theidential elections under ohce. these are simple principles which international mediation should be able to negotiate with all the parties concerned. the secretary-general with the ... ts of international law. it can only be accommodated -- with the accommodated
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violations of law. we want to cooperate with russia with whom we have a long and common history. not in violation of our principles and values. despising and rejecting international law and rejecting any discourse does not show optimism. russia seems to be going back to old ghosts, playing an old rule in the outdated setting. there is the mindset of new times to trust in the dialogue. they will draw the conversation. only russia will be responsible
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for the withdrawl. they only ask for the ukrainian sovereignty. russia brutally is violating. thank you very much. >> i will give this a representative of the united kingdom. >> thank you, madam president. the world can see that russian military forces have taken control of the crimean peninsula, part of the sovereign territory of ukraine. this is against the expressed wishes of the legitimate ukrainian government. it is an unambiguous violation of the territorial ukraine. it is a breach of international law. we can see no justification for these actions. we have heard from russia that the forces are in ukraine to protect minorities from old radicals.
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we had claims of interference in the affairs of the orthodox church. we have claims of hundreds of thousands of refugees. russia has provided no evidence for any of this. it is clear that these claims have simply been fabricated to justify russian military action. in assuming control in a sovereign part of ukraine, the russian federation has contravened its obligations is a member of the international community. it has violated article two of the human charger which prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. it has failed to honor its international commitments as a
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founding member and is a signatory to the 1975 helsinki final act. it has taken back its obligations of the treaty on friendship and cooperation by russia and ukraine. the russian representative claims that mr. yanukovych has called for military intervention. we are talking about a former leader that abandoned his office, capital, and country. he brought his country to the brink of economic ruin. he protests against his government, leading to over 80 deaths. his own party has abandoned him. the idea that this now for trade any legitimacy is far-fetched. the government in kiev is legitimate and has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the ukrainian parliament. in the 21st century, no country should be act to hang with such
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a blatant disregard for international law. these actions will be met with a strong and united response from the international community. russia should not be surprised that the political and economic reputation have already suffered. the ruble has fallen and the russian stock market is now down more than 10%. madam president, just as we condemn the russian federation for his confrontational acts, we commend the government of ukraine for refusing to rise to provocation. this is a wise decision. we urge the ukrainian government to avoid actions or rhetoric that would inflame tensions or provide a further pretext for further military action. madam president, we call on the russian federation to immediately cease all action in crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in ukraine.
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russia should withdraw its forces to the bases and return to force levels previously agreed to the government of ukraine as part of the black sea fleet. if russia is genuinely concerned about protecting minority groups and upholding the human rights of the cranium citizens, then ukrainian citizens, then armed intervention is not the way to address these concerns. instead, russia should open up a dialogue with ukrainian government in kiev and not pick individuals with whom they wish to engage. they should respond to requests by other signatories of the 1994 budapest memorandum to hold consultations as specified by paragraph six of that memorandum. they should engage constructively with debate taking place in the osce and other institutions concerning the deployment of a fact-finding mission to ukraine. such a mission could establish the facts on the ground and provide any necessary
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reassurances and guarantees through peaceful means. we welcome the un's secretary-general's decision. i hope that he would also go to the crimea and eastern ukraine. we call on the secretary-general to use his good offices to their fullest dustin -- extend to de-escalate the current situation. this is not 1968 or 1956. the error in which one country can suppress democratization in a neighboring state or military intervention on the basis of transparently trumped up pretext is over. we stand ready to work with ukraine, russia and all our international partners to support a stable and prosperous ukraine.
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we urge them to hold this. to act in a way that promotes stability rather than to destabilize the region through the promotion of new frozen conflicts. to support democratic processes, not to subvert or repress them. >> thank you. lithuania strongly condemns the clear violation by russian federation of the territorial ukraine. the military actions we are witnessing on the crimean soil defy the fundamental principles of international law, the helsinki final act, it he budapest memorandum, the cooperation between russia and the ukraine in 1997 in the framework regulating the presence of the russian black fleet in crimea.
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this latent breach has no place in a 21st century. for too many and are part of the world it evokes the memories of the darkest pages of the 20th century. it must be qualified clearly as such. the violation of international law must also entail international responsibility. none of the events in ukraine warrant a military invasion that we are witnessing. the will of the ukrainian people to rebuild the rule of law must be respect it. we call on the russian federation to put them back to the permanent bases and to refrain from any further intervention or interference in ukraine. let me stress that the international community has a wide array of instruments that
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can and must be used to resolve existing differences and de-escalate the situation through political dialogue and consultations. especially as all the international organizations and others are offering the good offices to this of fact. the presence of deputy secretary-general and osce representatives on the ground testify clearly to that. we welcome the proposal to send a monitory mission to crimea and other decisions. in light of international efforts, russia cannot continue. it has repeatedly offer consultations for russian counterparts.
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it must he used to de-escalate the situation. all these avenues should be utilized with a sense of great urgency. we call on the internation committee to stand united. these are highly dangerous and we commend a restraint shown by the new government and their determinations. not to give into provocations. they defuse the crisis and welcome proposals to send a monitory missions and we would welcome any other noise and missions which would help to ease the situation. we urge the russian federation to respond to these efforts and to seize the opportunity before it is too late. >> i now give the floor to the representative of rwanda.
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>> thank you. the situation in ukraine in crimea may pose a threat to the international situation. strongly urge all parties and holders and ukrainian crisis to to exercise restraint not to escalate the tension. but not launching the diversity and the faith including the russian community.
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given the current situation, we believe more than ever that the united nations has a critical role to play. we hope to find a diplomatic solution to the ukrainian crisis. as well as efforts are the president of the confederation in its capacity. however, given the complexity and fragility of the situation on the ground, we believe it is important to harmonize all efforts. we therefore introduced our proposal to establish this by the secretary-general and
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composed of the united nations, european union, the osce and the russian federation. we believe only efforts by the main stakeholders in the respect to the unity and ukraine while considering interest of the russian federation. it would provide a lasting solution to this crisis. all international actors have learned lessons from this and its consequences.
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although we are geographically removed from ukraine, it carries tension. he could bring back the past. despite the increased military abilities of the world powers. i thank you. >> i think the representative for his statements. i give it to the representative of jordan. >> thank you, madam president. jordan wishes to ask rest it deep concern vis-à-vis the current developments in ukraine and in the crimean region. we call on all parties to exercise self-restraint not to

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